Today I want to share something that has been walking around my mind as I have journeyed. It deals with the Buddhist principle “Wherever You go, there You are.” I’ve noticed within myself and society that we believe that we can leave our problems behind. I used to think that going somewhere else I would have different experiences. While that is true that being in a new place opens you up to new experiences, you bring your mind with you wherever you go and how you think will shape and determine the experiences you choose to have. For example, if you spend all your time at home watching TV, no matter where you go in the world, you will more than likely end up on a couch somewhere watching TV too. Sure, you may see a few touristy attractions, but what about completely genuine interactions and adventure?
I had known for a long time that I wanted to travel, and many times I had envisioned myself going off the beaten track in countries to explore their jungles, waterfalls and hopefully have a few adventures that few tend to have. However, i was so far removed from my own island Barbados that the likelihood of me doing these things were very slim. Before departing for my world adventure, the only places I had traveled to by myself were Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana. Yea, I saw some cool things in those countries, but they were only what the friends I stayed with showed me. I would stay in the bubble that my friends had set for themselves and never ventured outside to make my own fun.
I wasn’t even aware of my limited scope of perception until I started to hang out with foreign university students in Barbados. Befriending them, I had the privilege to witness Barbados through their fresh eyes, and it shocked me how much it differed from my own concept of Barbados. I used to love taking them to places familiar to me and seeing their eyes light up. But what I loved more, was when they’d tell me a story of some random bus they got on, went somewhere that I didn’t know and had an experience I’ve never had on my island.
What really ignited my wanderlust was one day for my friend’s birthday, a small group of us went to explore Cole’s Cave. Now, I had never even known that another cave apart from Harrison’s Cave existed, and I was so blown away. The most fresh water I have ever seen on my island I witnessed here. This was so apart from my stigma of my island, that I vowed then and there to see my country and life in general, with new eyes. This lead me to venture all over my island trying to learn her, and this became the catalyst for my first business, Good Times Tours. Really learning to appreciate my own island catapulted me into having some very interesting adventures as I’ve traveled.
The point I’m really trying to make is, wherever you go, there you are. What you carry in your mind affects how you interpret the world around you. If you carry a lot of fear in your noggin, chances are you will limit yourself from having new experiences for doubt of something going wrong. If you can learn to see the world from a place of love, what kind of adventures will you have for yourself?
Open minds and open hearts lead to an open world. You are as free as you think you are.
As always, may we continue to rise in love together,